Losses in the Asian markets, along with all-round selling pressure from institutional investors, took the domestic gauges below the psychological levels at close of trade today.
The Indian market opened with modest gains this morning, defying the regional trend, but slipped into the red soon after touching the day's high. A feeble recovery attempt was seen in the mid-morning session, but an across-the-board sell-off by institutional investors pulled the indices deeper into negative terrain. There was some sideways movement in the post-noon session, but it looked as if the market had made up its mind to stay in the red, tracking the Chinese market, and this dragged the domestic indices to below their crucial levels at the close.
The Sensex closed 444.55 points (2.19%) down at 19,865, below the crucial level of 20,000. The barometer touched a high of 20,380 and a low of 19,832 in trade today. The Nifty closed below the 6,000-mark at 5,988, down 132.90 points (2.17%). The index oscillated between a high of 6,144 and a low of 5,970 intraday.
The market breadth was dismal, moving in tandem with the losses suffered by the indices. The 30-share Sensex had 29 losers and only one advancing stock. The 50-share Nifty settled the day with two gainers and 48 declining stocks. The broader indices also had a bad day today. The BSE Mid-cap index tanked 2.15% while the BSE Small-cap index tumbled 2.92%.
Bharti Airtel was the lone gainer on the Sensex, up 1.16%. The losers were led by Sterlite Industries (down 5.40%), Hindalco Industries (down 5.21%), Jaiprakash Associates (down 4.57%), Reliance Communications (down 3.72%) and Tata Motors (down 3.65%).
The sectoral space was a sea of red today. BSE Realty (down 3.55%), BSE Metal (down 3.11%), BSE Capital Goods (down 2.78%), BSE Consumer Durables (down 2.58%) and BSE Auto (down 2.22%) were the sectoral losers.
Meanwhile, the union government today tabled the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on the 2G spectrum allocation in parliament. The CAG has estimated the revenue loss caused at Rs1.76 lakh crore, and said that A Raja, the then telecom minister, had ignored the advice of the prime minister, besides those of ministries of law and finance, giving "undue" benefits to Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications.
The CAG highlighted that the entire process of allocation of Unified Access Service licences "lacked transparency" and was undertaken in an "arbitrary, unfair and inequitable manner", in the process "flouting every canon of financial propriety, rules and procedures."
Markets in Asia mostly ended on a subdued note on economic concerns and fears of harsher measures to rein in rising prices. The Bank of Korea, for the second time this year, raised interest rates by 0.25 percentage points to 2.5% today. Worries about the Chinese government's proposed plan to keep a strict check on money supply and prices plunged the country's benchmark index to its lowest in a month.
The Shanghai Composite plunged 3.98%, the Hang Seng declined 1.39%, the Nikkei 225 lost 0.31%, the Straits Times declined 0.76% and the Seoul Composite tanked 0.77%. On the flip side, the Jakarta Composite gained 0.48%, the KLSE Composite rose 0.13% and the Taiwan Weighted was up 0.87% at the end of trade today.
Leading macroeconomic research agency Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has forecast capital flows topping $91 billion by the end of the fiscal, a staggering 70% over $53.6 billion that the country received in the last fiscal.
The agency's monthly macroeconomic report says this record spike is on the back of the massive inflow of $30.4 billion in the September quarter alone. For the foreign funds looking for high returns on the back of dirt-cheap funds from their home markets where returns are negligible, India and especially its stock markets has been a hot destination.
Wall Street ended mostly lower on Monday on mixed economic data and fears that the Federal Reserve might reduce the 'quantitative easing' announced recently. On the other hand, mergers and acquisition news kept a check on the losses. The Dow added 9.39 points (0.08%) at 11,202. The S&P 500 tripped 1.46 points (0.12%) to 1,197. The Nasdaq lost 4.39 points (or 0.17%) to 2,514.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of stocks worth Rs313 crore on Monday. Domestic institutional investors pulled out funds worth Rs3 crore on the same day.
Dabur India Ltd (down 3.96%) has acquired 100% equity in Namaste Laboratories LLC and its three subsidiary companies - Hair Rejuvenation & Revitalization Nigeria Limited, Healing Hair Laboratories International, LLC, and Urban Laboratories International, LLC along with its South African arm - for $100 million, in an all-cash deal.
This marks Dabur's entry into the fast-growing $1.5 billion ethnic hair care products market in US, Europe and Africa. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the 2010 calendar year, subject to regulatory approvals in the US.
State-run NTPC (down 1.45%) is in talks with Cement Corporation of India to set up a new cement plant in Orissa that will utilise fly ash produced at the power major's coal-fired thermal plants. Fly ash is a residue left after coal is burnt in thermal plants and is used in the production of cement.
The company will try to utilise cement produced at the plant, while excess quantities will be sold in the open market.
Kemrock Industries and Exports (down 1.62%) and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the formation of a joint venture company in India to develop and manufacture aerospace grade carbon fiber pre-pregs for the defence and aerospace programmes in India.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) Ltd has projected a 60% jump in revenue in the 2010-11 fiscal on the back of robust demand for its sports utility vehicle, 'Fortuner'.
The company, which will launch its 'Etios' sedan in the country in December, said it expects to achieve a revenue of about Rs7,000 crore this fiscal, as against Rs4,000 crore last fiscal.
"Our revenue this fiscal will be higher mainly because of robust demand for Fortuner," TKM, vice chairman, Vikram Kirloskar said.
He, however, said profitability could be lower this fiscal compared to last year, as the company invested about Rs3,500 crore to set up a second plant in Bengaluru, along with an engine and transmission unit. It also invested heavily on development of the 'Etios' platform.
Kirloskar said that last year, the company had posted a profit of Rs400 crore. Commenting on the sales prospects for the 'Etios' sedan being launched, he said the company is targeting sales of about 70,000 units in the first 12 months after the launch of the car.
The Tata Motors Group has said that its global sales have jumped 18% at 86,705 units in October 2010, as compared to last year.
The Group comprises Tata, Tata Daewoo and Hispano Carrocera range of commercial vehicles, Tata passenger vehicles along with distributed brands in India and Jaguar and Land Rover.
The company sold 40,750 units of commercial vehicles in October 2010, clocking a growth rate of 20%. Its cumulative sales for the fiscal are 274,323 units, growth of 52%.
The Group's cumulative sales for the fiscal (April-October 2010) stood at 598,639 units, higher by 44%, compared to the corresponding period last year.
Tata Motors Group sold 45,955 units of passenger vehicles in October, growth of 17%. Its cumulative sales for the fiscal are 324,316 units, growth of 39%, the company said in a statement.
Tata passenger vehicle sales, including those distributed stood at 27,110 units for the month, growth of 20%. Its cumulative sales for the fiscal are 193,184 units, growth of 41%.
On Tuesday, Tata Motors closed 3.65% down at Rs1,206 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex declined 2.19% to 19,865.14 points.